Tag Archives: The Nick Adams Stories

WWW Wednesday, 21-November-2018

21 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I made small progress with The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl and I think I’ll devote a little more time to it, but I might put it aside again soon. Honestly, it’s failing to grasp me and I can tell already that this will be a Two or Three Star book for me. It’s just not going anywhere.
I really dropped off my reading of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson after moving so far with it last week. I’ve had busy lunches at work and not a lot of time outside to read it. I have to finish by the end of the year and I know I’ll make that though it may be a bit closer than I’d anticipated.
I’m already a third of the way through The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati. It’s hard not to think that I could have listened to a normal-length book in this same time. I’ll be on this one for a while, to be sure.
I’m enjoying People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks though I no longer think it will be my 1600s book for When Are You Reading? The timeline isn’t firmly set then and I want to get a book that better fits the period.

Recently finished: I wrapped up The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway late last week. I’m not a bit fan of short story collections but I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. Nick is very much like Hemingway, as are many of his characters, but I enjoyed reading about his time in Northern Michigan. I posted a review Monday so please check that out for more opinions. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

I posted a review of Old School by Tobias Wolff last week. I liked this one a lot and it reminded me of some other books I’ve read and enjoyed before. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I have a bit of freedom here at the end of the year as my book clubs take time off for us to be with our families. I’ll probably start on the January book to get it out of the way. Our next one is Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. As is my preferred method of reading, I know nothing about this one and I’ll just hope for the best.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Book Review: The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway (3/5)

19 Nov

I find it hard to review short story collections but I’ll do my best here. In this case, we have a consistent character, Nick Adams, who is more or less Hemingway himself. I’ve always been interested in Adams because his stories are set in Northern Michigan where my parents have a summer home. I love the area though I know it’s very different from Hemingway’s time.

Cover image via Goodreads

The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway

Other books by Hemingway reviewed on this blog:

The Sun Also Rises (3/5)

Summary from Goodreads:

The famous Nick Adams stories show a memorable character growing from child to adolescent to soldier, veteran, writer, and parent – a sequence closely paralleling the events of Hemingway’s life.”But,” as Philip Young writes in the preface, “Hemingway naturally intended his stories to be understood and enjoyed without regard for such considerations – as they have been for a long time.”

From what I know of Hemingway, these stories paralleled his life more than just a bit. At least, in the locations, hobbies, and stages of life if not in the details. I’m not sure if he ever escaped from the game board with his sister or saw an Indian woman give birth. But he lived in those places and knew about those things. It’s no coincidence Nick went to Europe, fought in the war, and had a son.

Nick is believable because he is so much like Hemingway. He’s very close to nature and seems to understand the land in a way few people do anymore. He often comes off as closed off, someone who enjoys being alone more than he enjoys being with people. When he is with people, he judges them a lot and speculates about their lives and motivations while showing little interest in them. He’s an observer and I think it’s safe to say Hemingway would have been the same way. To write about people the way he does, he had to watch them closely.

There were very few repeat characters in the stories. A few showed up, like his friend George. My favorite was his sister, Littless, from The Last Good Country. She was a sweet girl, and very dedicated to her older brother. I struggled to guess their ages, but I assume he was about 16-18 and she was around 14. I loved the dynamic between the two of them and it made me wish I had an older brother. Though who knows if relationships like those are common.

Ernest Hemingway
Image via the Nobel Prize website

I didn’t relate to the characters, cut I could relate to the setting in this story. I love the woods of Northern Michigan. Even though a lot of it is now populated, one of my favorite things is riding my bike up there through the national forest. It gives me peace in much the same way Nick felt when he was fishing the rivers. Being alone in nature is soothing and I could relate to Nick’s peace.

My favorite story was The Last Good Country. It was the longest, and I think that spoke to my preference for the novel. However, I think the other point of view could have been reduced if not cut. Being with Nick and Littless in the forest, having another person there that emphasized how comfortable Nick was alone in nature, was really fun and I enjoyed hearing it.

My least favorite story was The Way You’ll Never Be. I guess I didn’t get the point of this story. Maybe I was in heavy traffic and missed an important point. Either way, I don’t enjoy the military stories as much as I like the ones set back home or in Europe after the war. This one seemed to be too much of a satire for my tastes. I know Hemingway had a lot to say about war, the point of it, and the humanlessness of it. I just didn’t get much of it out of this story.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Stacy Keach. I had mixed feelings about his narration. I thought he had a good voice to give to Nick and his portrayal of other characters was good. They were different enough and the accents were present without being distracting. However, his speed and volume changed too much for me. Listening in my car, I have to frequently turn up the volume when I’m on the highway and when I get off. However, with Keach I had to turn it up for certain paragraphs or even the end of emotional sentences.

A lot of Nick’s stories were about man and nature. As much as Nick was a peace in nature, he didn’t belong there. He manipulated nature to meet his needs but he always had to return to civilization. It was a place to hide or escape, but he couldn’t live there. He brought things that couldn’t be replenished and he always went home in the end. They were quick adventures when he needed a rush, but they were never going to be a permanent move.

Writer’s Takeaway: Making a character like yourself is a good way to make him believable. Hemingway could pour his feelings and reactions into Nick and that must have made him easy to write. But it doesn’t make him interesting to read. Nick was the least interesting part of his stories to me (with the exception of Fathers and Sons). It did make for a good way to explore secondary characters, though.

Overall, enjoyable in parts, but not an overall winner. Three out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Nature Boy- “The Nick Adams Stories” by Ernest Hemingway | Such a Book Nerd
#74: The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway | 1 Year, 100 Books
Unfinished Hemingway “The Last Good Country” and “Crossing the Mississippi” | SandersStuff
Hemingway Fix #4: The End of Something | From Offshore

WWW Wednesday, 14-November-2018

14 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I started The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl again! I’m excited to get back to it and finish this one so I can start on some new books.
I’ve made decent progress on Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I’m going to have to watch the Muppet version of this when I’m done. I wonder how much they kept the same.
I was proud of how much of The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati I’ve listened to but then I was reminded that it’s 31 hours long and I’ll be listening to this for the better part of a month. I’m in for the long haul.
I’ve enjoyed some of The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway more than others. Some are so short I’m not sure what I’m supposed to get out of them. I’m not sure how much Hemingway meant for them to be put together in a collection. They seem to be in chronological order which I don’t think is how they were written. Maybe they’d make more sense in another order.

Recently finished: I finished Old School by Tobias Wolff on Sunday as I recovered from a half marathon. I needed to sit, haha. It was a nice, short book. I was reminded of A Separate Peace which is a favorite of mine so it was almost nostalgic.

I was able to post two reviews, though. Monday I posted about Not Me by Michael Lavigne. The book wasn’t a favorite and the ending upset me so I rated it Three out of Five stars.
I also reviewed That Night by Chevy Stevens. This one was the complete opposite. It grabbed me from the beginning and kept me listening as often as I could. I gave it Five out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I’ve got to get through one more book to finish my When Are You Reading? Challenge. I picked People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I read another Brooks book for this time period last year as well (1600s) and it’s getting hard to find some. I may have to re-define my time periods going forward to make it a bit easier! I’ll be starting this when I finish Hemingway.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 7-November-2018

7 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently readingThe Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl should get attention again soon. Really, I swear! I want to get back to it soon and I’m feeling like I will. Eventually…
I’m past halfway in Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s a bit more violent than I was expecting for a children’s story, but I should know that censorship has changed since it was written.
I started reading Old School by Tobias Wolff, the next selection for one of my book clubs. It’s a slim book so I’m hoping I can finish it up quickly and get back to Poe! So far, so good. I’m hoping this is done by next week.
I also got to start a new eaudiobook, The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati. This is another book club pick and I was beyond relieved to see it was offered as an eaudiobook because of its length! Over 700 pages and over 31 hours on audio. How perfect toward the end of the running season!
My hold on The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway came in and I started it on Sunday. It’s a nice change of pace to listen to short stories after having gone through some really long books. I hope I can continue to enjoy these.

Recently finished: I wrapped up Not Me by Michael Lavigne and will have a review up next week. I’m a little unsure what to think of it still. There were some big leaps in logic in my opinion and some very unnecessary plot elements that confused the message I got from it. Maybe it’s just not for me, maybe I missed something, and I for sure need my book club to help me figure it out.
I sped through That Night by Chevy Stevens and wrapped it up already. I haven’t read a thriller/mystery novel in a while and I need to remind myself to read one every once in a while. I really enjoyed the tension in Toni’s story and it kept me listening at every opportunity. Review for this one will be up next week, too.

My review of Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire went up on Monday. I really liked this book, but it just didn’t live up to my astronomically high expectations. No wonder. I gave it Four out of Five stars.

Reading Next: No plans right now. It’s a great feeling, really. I’ll see how long I can keep it up.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 31-October-2018 [Halloween Edition]

31 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently readingThe Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl looks so good on my bedside table. That’s a reason not to be reading it, right? I’ll get back to it soon…
I’m doing most of my reading of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson during lunch and it’s slow going, but it’s been fun. I’ll likely string this one out until the end of the year. Not by choice, just by slow reading habits.
I hope I can finish Not Me by Michael Lavigne this week. I’m not enjoying it as much as I did at first and I honestly want to finish it and get back to Pearl. I feel like there are too many questions and not enough answers. The main character is languishing, not moving and I’m a bit tired of it.
I was able to start That Night by Chevy Stevens on my phone and I’m using it as my car audiobook until another comes in. So far, It’s been a well-balanced mystery. I know what happened but I don’t. And I know what the future looks like, a bit. It’s muddled and fun so far!

Recently finished: I was able to finish A Column of Fire by Ken Follett on my way home from my swim meet on Saturday. It felt SO GOOD to call it done. I still have to return the huge audiobook to the library but I’m already imagining my car so much more empty. I’ll be writing a review for this next week.
I wrapped up A Night to Remember by Walker Lord, too. It was fun to revisit the Titanic after my trip to the Belfast museum this summer. I feel like a real nerd now. But I loved it. My review went up Monday so please check it out! I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I have my next audiobook on hold at the library and it will be The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway. I’m not usually a fan of short stories, but I am a fan of Hemingway. I think this one will work out well between the two.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!